AnimatableBody3D in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to our tutorial on the AnimatableBody3D class in Godot 4. In this guide, we will explore this unique Godot engine feature, designed to bring life to your 3D gaming environments. We aim to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how the AnimatableBody3D class works, how it can be applied, and why it’s a significant tool for any game developer venturing into the 3D landscape of Godot.

Understanding how to add dynamics to static objects can elevate your game world, resulting in more interactive and responsive scenes. Whether you’re at the start of your game development journey or looking to enhance your existing skills, this tutorial is crafted for you. Let’s dive straight into the world of AnimatableBody3D and unlock the potential of your 3D Godot projects!

What is AnimatableBody3D?

AnimatableBody3D is a godsend for developers aiming to integrate moving objects within their 3D scenes without compromising on physics interactions. It inherits from StaticBody3D but surpasses the usual limitations by allowing manual movements through code, animation players, or remote transformations.

What is it for?

Imagine the doors that open as your character approaches, platforms that change position, enabling new paths, or mechanisms that react dynamically—all of these can be orchestrated using AnimatableBody3D. Its purpose is to add interactive movable elements that react with and influence other objects within the physics-enabled 3D environment of Godot.

Why Should I Learn It?

Learning to utilize the AnimatableBody3D class can revolutionize the way you create game mechanics. It’s essential for creating a vibrant, interactive game world where objects don’t just sit statically but become integral parts of the gameplay. With this knowledge, you can build bridges (metaphorically and literally) that move or adjust based on gameplay, contributing to a more immersive experience for players.

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Setting Up the AnimatableBody3D

Before we can manipulate objects with AnimatableBody3D, we need to set it up properly. Let’s start by creating a simple AnimatableBody3D object that we can later animate.

var animatable_body = AnimatableBody3D.new()
animatable_body.name = "MovablePlatform"
var collision_shape = CollisionShape3D.new()
collision_shape.shape = BoxShape3D.new() # You can use different shapes
animatable_body.add_child(collision_shape)
add_child(animatable_body)

This code will create a simple “MovablePlatform” object with a collision box. Now we can animate its position, rotation, or scale properties.

Animating Position

Animating the position of an AnimatableBody3D can create the illusion of an object moving within your game world. Here’s an example using Godot’s AnimationPlayer to move the object along the X-axis:

var animation = Animation.new()
animation.set_length(2.0) # The animation lasts 2 seconds
animation.set_step(0.1) # Updates every 0.1 seconds
animation.track_insert_key(0, 0.0, Vector3(0, 0, 0)) # Starting position
animation.track_insert_key(0, 2.0, Vector3(10, 0, 0)) # Ending position

var animation_player = AnimationPlayer.new()
animation_player.add_animation("move_right", animation)

animatable_body.add_child(animation_player)
animation_player.play("move_right")

This will create a simple left-to-right movement.

Animating Rotation

Similarly to position, you can animate the rotation to make your objects seem like they’re turning around:

animation.track_insert_key(1, 0.0, Quat(0, 0, 0, 1)) # Starting rotation (identity quaternion)
animation.track_insert_key(1, 2.0, Quat(Vector3(0, 1, 0), PI)) # Ending rotation 180 degrees around Y-axis

animation_player.add_animation("rotate", animation)

animation_player.play("rotate")

Here, we’ve set the object to rotate 180 degrees around the Y-axis over 2 seconds.

Controlling Animation Dynamically

If you want more control over your animation, you can manipulate the properties of the AnimatableBody3D directly with code:

var time_passed = 0.0

func _process(delta):
    time_passed += delta
    var new_position = Vector3(5 * sin(time_passed * 2), 0, 0)
    animatable_body.global_transform.origin = new_position

By using the ‘_process’ method, we control the position dynamically. This will make your object sway back and forth along the X-axis.

Remember, these code examples are just starting points. You can mix, match, and expand upon these basic principles to create intricate animations for your game’s environment. Stay tuned for the next part of our tutorial where we will delve further into the capabilities of AnimatableBody3D.Continuing from where we left off with the basics of AnimatableBody3D, let’s dive deeper into the more advanced uses and techniques that can significantly enhance the interactivity and realism in your 3D Godot projects.

Complex Animations

With AnimatableBody3D, you’re not limited to simple translations or rotations. You can create complex paths for your objects to follow using bezier curves or keyframe sequences that involve multiple transform properties at once for more natural movement.

For a platform that moves along a curved path, we could do the following:

var curve = Curve3D.new()
curve.add_point(Vector3(0, 0, 0))
curve.add_point(Vector3(5, 5, 0), in_handle=Vector3(-1, 0, 0), out_handle=Vector3(1, 0, 0))
curve.add_point(Vector3(10, 0, 0))

animation.track_insert_key(2, 0.0, curve.interpolate_baked(0.0)) 
animation.track_insert_key(2, 2.0, curve.interpolate_baked(1.0)) 

animation_player.add_animation("curve_motion", animation)

animation_player.play("curve_motion")

Here, we added a curve path with three points and then added keys at the start and the end of the animation that use ‘interpolate_baked’ to move the object along the curve.

Physics Integration

One of the biggest advantages of the AnimatableBody3D is its ability to interact with physics bodies. By changing its collision layer and mask, you can determine with what types of objects it will interact.

Example for setting up the collision layer and mask (consider this is specific to your game’s layering setup):

animatable_body.collision_layer = 1
animatable_body.collision_mask = 1

This way, you can create a platform that moves and is also subject to collisions with other physics bodies, like a KinematicBody3D:

func _physics_process(delta):
    var new_position = Vector3(5 * sin(time_passed * 2), 0, 0)
    animatable_body.move_and_collide(new_position)

Linking Animations to Gameplay Mechanics

The real magic happens when we start tying the animations of our AnimatableBody3D to gameplay mechanics. For example, making a platform that starts moving when the player steps on it:

var player_on_platform = false

# Assume that this method is called when the player steps on the platform.
func _on_player_entered():
    player_on_platform = true

func _physics_process(delta):
    if player_on_platform:
        var target_position = Vector3(10, 0, 0)
        animatable_body.global_transform.origin = target_position.linear_interpolate(animatable_body.global_transform.origin, delta)

Here, we’re updating the position of the platform only when the player is detected on it. The platform moves towards the target position smoothly over time, creating the effect of a starting movement.

Responsive Environmental Elements

Finally, responsive environmental elements such as traps, elevators, and doors can be controlled with AnimatableBody3D. We can set up triggers that start an animation sequence when a condition is met. Below is an example of a trap that activates when a player is nearby:

var trap_triggered = false

func _on_player_nearby():
    trap_triggered = true
    animation_player.play("trap_activation")

func _physics_process(delta):
    if trap_triggered:
        # Perform trap-related physics operations here

Using these techniques, you unlock an entirely new realm of possibilities within your 3D Godot environment. Whether it’s for puzzles, platforming, or dynamic storytelling elements, the AnimatableBody3D class is a powerful tool in your Godot arsenal. Remember to experiment and play around with different combinations of animations and physics to create truly captivating experiences for your players.Animating an AnimatableBody3D with Multiple Keyframes
To demonstrate a more nuanced animation using multiple keyframes, let’s animate a platform that ascends and descends in a loop:

var loop_animation = Animation.new()
loop_animation.set_loop(true) # Loop the animation

# Add keyframes for the up and down motion at different times
loop_animation.track_insert_key(0, 0.0, Vector3(0, 0, 0))
loop_animation.track_insert_key(0, 1.0, Vector3(0, 10, 0))
loop_animation.track_insert_key(0, 2.0, Vector3(0, 0, 0))

animation_player.add_animation("platform_loop", loop_animation)
animation_player.play("platform_loop")

This will make the platform move up and down continuously, simulating a simple elevator system.

Syncing Motion with Other Scene Elements

To ensure that our AnimatableBody3D moves in sync with other elements, you can script their motion alongside a central timeline controlled by an AnimationPlayer:

func _ready():
    # Assume there's another animatable body we want to sync with.
    var second_animatable_body = $SecondAnimatableBody
    var sync_animation = Animation.new()

    # Set up synchronized motion for both animatable bodies.
    sync_animation.track_insert_key(0, 0.0, Vector3(0, 0, 0))
    sync_animation.track_insert_key(0, 1.0, Vector3(10, 0, 0))
    sync_animation.track_insert_key(1, 0.0, Vector3(0, 0, 0))
    sync_animation.track_insert_key(1, 1.0, Vector3(-10, 0, 0))

    # Set up the tracks for each animatable body.
    var track0 = sync_animation.find_track(animatable_body.transform)
    var track1 = sync_animation.find_track(second_animatable_body.transform)
    
    sync_animation.set_track_path(track0, "transform")
    sync_animation.set_track_path(track1, "transform")

    animation_player.add_animation("sync_move", sync_animation)
    animation_player.play("sync_move")

Both animatable bodies will now move in opposite directions, but their movements will begin and end at the same time intervals.

Interaction with Kinematic Bodies

Next, let’s consider how our AnimatableBody3D can react to a KinematicBody3D such as a player character. We can create an interactive bridge that collapses when the player crosses it:

func _on_player_touched_bridge():
    var collapse_animation = Animation.new()
    collapse_animation.track_insert_key(0, 0.0, Vector3(0, 0, 0))
    collapse_animation.track_insert_key(0, 2.0, Vector3(0, -5, 0))
    
    animation_player.add_animation("bridge_collapse", collapse_animation)
    animation_player.play("bridge_collapse")

This will move the bridge downward when triggered by the player, simulating the bridge collapsing.

Sequential Activation

Perhaps we’d like a sequence of platforms to activate one after another. Below demonstrates sequential activation using AnimationPlayer’s “finished” signal:

func _on_first_platform_animation_finished():
    $SecondAnimatableBody/AnimationPlayer.play("move_second_platform")

func _on_second_platform_animation_finished():
    $ThirdAnimatableBody/AnimationPlayer.play("move_third_platform")

# Connect these functions to the 'finished' signal of the respective AnimationPlayers

In this sequence, when the first platform’s animation is finished, it triggers the second, and once the second platform’s animation is complete, it triggers the third.

On-demand Animation Reconfiguration

Sometimes you want to modify your animation during runtime, based on specific conditions or player actions:

func reconfigure_animation():
    # Add or modify keyframes of an existing animation
    var existing_animation = animation_player.get_animation("move_right")
    existing_animation.track_set_key_value(0, 2, Vector3(20, 0, 0)) # Modify end position
    
    # Refresh the animation to apply changes
    animation_player.add_animation("move_right", existing_animation)
    animation_player.play("move_right")

This changes the ‘move_right’ animation endpoint to double the distance, dynamically altering the length of the platform’s travel path.

Using the above code examples, you’d manipulate the AnimatableBody3D to bring a level of interactivity and dynamics to your game that static objects simply can’t match. The powerful combination of Godot’s animation system and scripting allows you to create a rich, vibrant, and responsive game world that responds to player actions and makes your game truly stand out.

Where to Go Next in Your Godot Journey

If you’ve enjoyed unlocking the potential of AnimatableBody3D in Godot and you’re eager to further expand your game development toolkit, we’ve got just the path to continue your learning adventure. The world of Godot is vast, and mastering it opens up endless possibilities for your game creation ambitions.

Why not leap into our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree? This comprehensive learning suite is designed to fortify your skills, from mastering the fundamentals of 2D and 3D game development to learning advanced techniques that will set your games apart. The curriculum is crafted to ensure an accessible entry point for beginners and remains challenging and enriching for those who already have some game development experience under their belt.

For those looking to cast an even wider net, our entire collection of Godot courses can be found here. Each course is tailored to meet you at your level, helping to take you from enthusiast to professional, all at your own pace. With Zenva, you can be assured of high-quality content that’s not only engaging but directly relevant to the skills sought after in the game development industry.

The journey of learning never truly ends, and with every new skill you acquire, you’ll find your creative potential growing. Embark on your next challenge with us, and let’s create something amazing together!

Conclusion

The wonders of the Godot engine and its AnimatableBody3D class hold the key to unlocking new realms of creativity in your 3D game development ventures. With the practical knowledge you now possess, the door to crafting dynamic, engaging worlds awaits you. Remember, every great game began as a single idea – one that took shape through the utilization of tools and techniques just like the ones you’ve learned here.

Your journey doesn’t have to end; it’s just getting started. Continue to expand your horizons, discover new skills, and refine your craft with our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. Let each animation you create, each line of code you write, and each obstacle you overcome propel you toward creating something extraordinary. We’re excited to see the games you’ll dream up and realize, and we’re here to support you, every step of the way.

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